Why Famous: Ficciones, The Aleph
Biography: Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was an Argentinean writer of short stories, poems and literary criticism. His fantastical and densely symbolic stories, written in a rigorous and economical style, have earned him a reputation as one of the finest writers to come out of Latin America.
Borges’ stories often deal with philosophical themes such as time, eternity, the nature of personal identity and mystical experience. In such speculations Borges draws from the idealism of Berkeley and Schopenhoer, which describes reality as consisting only of minds and ideas. In the hands of Borges these ideas were a tool for exquisite fiction, colored by his favorite images of labyrinths, tigers and infinite libraries.
In addition to his metaphysical concerns, Borges also wrote several stories about the land of his birth, Argentina, and its Wild West mythology of gaucho knife fighters and their brutal lives.
Although Borges’ most famous collections (Fictions, The Aleph) were published in the 1920s and ‘30s he did not attract international critical and literary acclaim until their translation into English in the ‘50s and ‘60s. After this sudden literary celebrity, Borges continued to publish new work even as his eyesight dwindled into blindness. (OnThisDay.com)
- 1967-08-04 Writer Jorge Luis Borges (67) weds old friend Elsa Astete Millán
- 1986-04-26 Writer Jorge Luis Borges (86) weds author Maria Kodama (49) in Paraguay